There is nothing as cool as a trip to the library, unless it’s a trip to the bookstore with lots of money. These things should inspire me to get a real job, but alas… What I am inspired to do, though, is read the Cool Girl novels this weekend that I haven’t yet read. I may not get them all written up in time to qualify for the 48 Hour Book Challenge, but I’m already making lists and gloating because Liesel, main character in Markus Zusak’s latest novel counts as a cool girl, and that one’s already next to my bed. The most fun thing about this challenge is that I have an actual excuse to read all weekend. It’s awful that it’s Father’s Day and I have a birthday party to attend this weekend, this is going to severely cut into my reading time. Fortunately I’m going to see my father at my brother-in-law’s party; I can fling two gifts at them and leave, thereby cementing my reputation as an antisocial boor, and picking up where I left off on my last chapter…!
A.Fortis is always finding really cool graphic novels to share. I know nothing from that genre, so was pleased to read that Hyperion is publishing Abadazan, an intriguing graphic novel book-within-a-book kind of thing. It’s partly the journal of a girl named Kate, interspersed with pages from a novel of this fantasy realm, Abadazan, and includes a graphic novel section as well. It sounds really interesting.
Something else graphic I want to check out is a surprise find from Mo Willems. The cartoonist of Pigeon and Codename: Kids Next Door fame has written an older picturebook – kind of adult, really – called You Can Never Find A Rickshaw When It Monsoons: The World on One Cartoon A Day. It’s a collection of travel cartoons Willems did less when he embarked on a trip around the world less than a week after he graduated from college. What a cool idea, to wander the world sketching it as you go. Reviews says Willems captures world cultures ‘drolly,’ which has got to be the only way to capture them. I’ve heard the book might make a great gift, so possibly I’ll fling it at someone this weekend.
Sigh. The recent Kids and Family Reading Report states that only 29% of kids ages 9-11 years old are high frequency readers and that the percentage of kids who read for fun (which is the definition of ‘high frequency reader’) continues to drop off through age 17. There’s more detail, of course, talking about boys vs. girls, and telling us yet again that reading for boys drops off sharply after a certain age, etc., etc., ad infinitum, blah blah. The results of the study aren’t really new. Perhaps a more beneficial conversation would be a plan to do something about it involving parents, teachers, schools and communities. Then there could be a study published about how well it worked, and what else we could do to fine tune it. Imagine all the new information then! The more readers, the more thinkers; the more thinkers, the more informed and involved citizens in our world, and God knows we need people who are paying attention!